No Nuclear Option for This Filibusterer


According to the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Cuban lunatic Fidel Castro has delivered 18 speeches in 2005, averaging out at about 3 hours 40 minutes per (ranging from a zippy 1:40 minutes to an ungodly 5:30). The Federation of American Scientists-provided link contains single-paragraph summaries, plus this desperate-sounding observation of the barbudo's physical decline:

President Castro, who is right-handed and known for gesticulating extensively with his right arm while speaking, has been progressively favoring his left arm since February. See LAP20050303000088 to review President Castro's range of motion in 2004. In his public addresses of 7 and 11 April, President Castro primarily uses his left arm to gesture and shuffle notes, and repeatedly kneads his right shoulder and arm with his left hand. President Castro uses his right hand on scant occasions to applaud, shuffle papers and point. However, he mostly avoids lifting or moving his right arm from the shoulder to the elbow.

During my too-brief time in Cuba, I observed two excellent reactions to Castro's speeches. The first was a sort of drinking game without the booze—just watch the four-hour speech with the sound turned down, and then laugh and laugh at how crazy the old man looks. The second was more utilitarian: use Granma, the eight-page daily newspaper that frequently runs six pages of Castro transcripts, in lieu of shortage-restricted toilet paper.